So much for being Zimbabwe’s wealthiest man, Econet Wireless founder and chairperson Strive Masiyiwa has paid US$80 000 to date as rent for lavish apartment in New York City.
The New York Post said Masiyiwa whose net worth estimate according to Forbes Magazine is US$600-plus million rents the apartment for US$40 000 every month.
Masiyiwa is believed to have moved into the apartment at Harry Macklowe’s converted 737 Park Ave in September.This 12th floor rental which was originally leased for US$49 500 by a private individual has five bedrooms, 7½-bathrooms, a windowed chef’s kitchen, a master suite with a windowed dressing area and two spa bathrooms.
Living in a 4, 850 square feet luxury flat, Masiyiwa would have to pay almost US$25 million to own it.
Built by notable architect Sylvan Bien, the 737 Park was developed by leading New York City real estate developer and investor Harry Macklowe Ave and transformed into a glamorous contemporary residence that offers approximately 60 luxurious private residences, many with private elevator landings and separate service entrances.
Masiyiwa is living large at his New York City suite found along Manhattan’s premier residential corridor, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This is one of the most affluent neighbourhoods and home to the world’s most wealthy, powerful and influential families and individuals.
This move is a windfall to the Masiyiwa family as his eldest daughters recently enrolled at an American university. With him sitting on the board of trustees for the New York based Rockefeller Foundation this brings him to the city frequently.
Masiyiwa sits at the helm of the second largest company by market capitalisation in Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless which now operates in 15 countries across Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim.
His next great and ambitious project is Liquid Telecom, which has built Africa’s largest fibre optic cable network currently stretching across Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The leading independent data, voice and IP provider in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, Liquid Telecom supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to mobile networks, ISPs and businesses as well as individuals.
A very generous philanthropist, Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi run the Higher Life Foundation which provides scholarships to orphans, including those whose parents have died of AIDS.
A celebrated and respected entrepreneur, Masiyiwa who now is based in London, England, says his Econet group is “one of a small, but rapidly growing number of global companies from Africa that are at the forefront of ensuring that the voice of African business is heard at major international gatherings.
“The company not only participates in such events, but has also actively sponsored, hosted, and supported meetings and dialogues, to promote better understanding concerning African economic issues, as well as social development issues, health and the environment.”